16 Best Movies & Shows Released in 2024 On Amazon Prime

Staff & contributors
Find the best movies and show to watch from the year 2024. These handpicked recommendations are highly-rated by viewers and critics.

, 2024

Frida Kahlo is an iconic Mexican painter, not just because of her outstanding art, but also because of her outlook in life, despite her ill health and tragic accident. Because of this, she has been talked about in multiple books, movies, and exhibitions, but a new documentary has popped up, this time from her own words. Carla Gutierrez’s directorial debut is a revelation, voiced primarily in Frida’s native Spanish and paired with key archival footage, vivid animations of her paintings, and an excellent acoustic score plucked from classical guitar. Being a biographical documentary, fans of the artist would, of course, be familiar with her life events, but Gutierrez’s approach is still worth watching, mostly because it’s Frida’s own words driving the film.

Genre: Documentary

Actor: Frida Kahlo

Director: Carla Gutierrez

Rating: R

We’ve already seen the coming-of-age conflict presented in Música in other films– namely, where parents, society, and loved ones expect things from a male protagonist, but he has a passion for his creative endeavors, only awakened by a gorgeous girl that recognizes his talent. It’s a cliché storyline, even for a musical, but we’ve never heard it this way before, the way Rudy Mancuso takes in the day-to-day noise of his Brazilian neighborhood in Newark and turns it into a musical soundscape paired with rhythmic dancing, theatrical set pieces, and a metanarrative portrayed by his puppets that he says is unfortunately real. There’s something special in the way Mancuso’s directorial debut unfolds, so visually and sonically creative, with a lot of heart that we’ve been missing.

Genre: Comedy, Music, Romance

Actor: Andy Muschietti, Bianca Comparato, Camila Mendes, Francesca Reale, Gregory Jones, J.B. Smoove, José Báez, Maria Mancuso, Milly Guzman, Regina Schneider, Rudy Mancuso

Director: Rudy Mancuso

Rating: PG-13

Giannis Antetokounmpo's rags-to-riches life story is the stuff of movies, and indeed it’s been told many times on print and screen. But this is the first time he and his family are telling it themselves, which is a big deal since Antetokounmpo, as it turns out, is inseparable from his family. Their revealing interviews about how they struggled as undocumented immigrants from Nigeria in Greece add a new, moving depth to a well-known journey, which Director Kristen Lappas wisely divides into chapters named after Greek ideals Antetokounmpo represents. Despite Lappas’ background (she is Greek-American), she makes sure to balance Antetokounmpo's heroic moments with the Greek government’s at-times unfair treatment of the athlete and other immigrants in the country. She also puts a spotlight on the pressures Antetokounmpo is going through as one of the youngest champs in NBA history. After all, at just 29 years old, he’s already a two-time MVP and playoff winner. This doc proves that the story of how he got there is no less remarkable.

Genre: Documentary

Actor: Alex Antetokounmpo, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Kenny Smith, Kostas Antetokounmpo, Thanasis Antetokounmpo, Veronica Antetokounmpo

Director: Kristen Lappas

Set in the British colonial era, Captain Miller is more unapologetically violent than its counterparts, but it’s not mindlessly so. Sure, the film has plenty of spectacle with numerous battles between townsfolk versus British colonialists, some scenes having gruesome, gory deaths. But in between these battles is Dhanush as the central character, contemplating the oppression from his fellow countrymen, the dignity denied to him from both the colony and more privileged locals, and the choices he chooses to make in spite of this. It’s not a straightforward bad versus good anti-colonial film like RRR, and it may not be as emotionally compelling, but Captain Miller is certainly a unique take on British colonialism with all of director Arun Matheswaran’s signature style.

Genre: Action, Adventure

Actor: Abdool Lee, Aditi Balan, Bose Venkat, Dhanush, Edward Sonnenblick, Elango Kumaravel, Jayaprakash, John Kokken, Kaali Venkat, Mark Bennington, Nivedhithaa Sathish, Priyanka Arul Mohan, Shivaraj Kumar, Sumesh Moor, Sundeep Kishan, Swayam Siddha, Viji Chandrasekhar, Vinoth Kishan

Director: Arun Matheswaran

No one watches a romantic comedy expecting anything novel, although it’s nice to be surprised once in a while. In the past years, we’ve seen movies like Rye Lane and Palm Springs subvert expectations and give the genre a pleasant, refreshing twist. Upgraded isn’t like those movies. It’s pretty standard and formulaic, but I would be lying if I said it wasn’t enjoyable—Amazon Prime’s latest romcom is breezy good fun from start to end. The predictable parts of the film are buoyed by vibrant performances. As leading lady Ana, Camila Mendes expertly toes the line between approachable and aspirational, while Marisa Tomei delivers campy goodness as Ana's boss Claire Dupree, who is like a less serious, more humorous Miranda Priestly. In fact, the entire film is like a pleasant blend of The Devil Wears Prada and every single Cinderella story in Hollywood, from Pretty Woman to What a Girl Wants. If you’re looking for something new, you can skip this film, but if you like recalling your favorites and are satisfied by performances before anything else, then Upgraded comes highly recommended.

Genre: Comedy, Romance

Actor: Aimee Carrero, Andrew Schulz, Anthony Stewart Head, Archie Renaux, Camila Mendes, Carlson Young, Fola Evans-Akingbola, Grégory Montel, Joe Osborne, Lena Olin, Marisa Tomei, Matteo Lane, Paul Hawkyard, Rachel Matthews, Renny Krupinski, Saoirse-Monica Jackson, Thomas Kretschmann

Director: Carlson Young

Rating: R

Jennifer Lopez believes that her latest album and its movie accompaniment, This Is Me…Now, are her magnum opus, so she gives the joint project her all. She funds, writes, produces, directs, and choreographs everything with the help of her team, which amusingly includes her lover and muse Ben Affleck. Whether or not it actually is her greatest work of all time doesn’t matter; it doesn’t even matter that people get it. What matters is that she creates it with the undivided fervor of an artist possessed with the knowledge that this is their last chance to make a mark. And it’s that energy that makes this documentary, which is a behind-the-scenes look at This Is Me…Now, so captivating. Lopez is in her element directing the movie-musical of her life. At 54 years old, she’s completely candid (sometimes, amusingly, to Affleck’s dismay) and abandons all need to conform to industry norms. She follows her heart first and her mind second, which explains why her project is as big-hearted and relatable as it is bonkers and all over the place. It’s a bit like The Disaster Artist in that way: watching Lopez’s creative chaos is far more interesting than the creation itself.

Genre: Documentary

Actor: Ben Affleck, Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas, Jane Fonda, Jennifer Lopez

Director: Jason B. Bergh

Rating: R

What does a highly successful 20-year-old musician have to say about life and the industry? As we learn from Laroi, a lot apparently. Throughout this film, which documents his rapid rise from hopeful Aussie to international star, Laroi shares observations that are at turns earnest, endearing, and self-aware. Unfortunately, these likable traits aren’t enough to make Kids Are Growing Up staple viewing beyond Laroi’s fanbase. If you’re not part of the club, you might find it hard to grasp the necessity of this production at all. Though pleasantly intimate and amusingly animated, there is nothing innovative nor insightful about it. The Australian leg of his origin story seems to have been largely skipped, as are some parts of his musical process. And though it's the most interesting part about him, the documentary doesn't focus too much on him being a prodigy. Laroi is talented to be sure, but this documentary seems like a premature attempt at capturing him in his presumed prime. As a result, the filmmakers betray a lack of confidence in Laroi's future, even though it's clear it'll burn brighter than ever.

Genre: Documentary, Music

Actor: Justin Bieber, Katarina Demetriades, Lil Bibby, Post Malone, The Kid LAROI

Director: Michael D. Ratner

Rating: R

This is Me…Now is more than just a glorified music video. It’s a personal confessional for one, and a surprisingly effective comedy for another. In parts, Jennifer Lopez speaks to her therapist (Fat Joe) about the dreams she’s been having, which then give way to surreal sequences of Lopez singing songs off her latest album, all about love and personal growth. You’d have to be a fan of Lopez’s pop style to appreciate the music, but the choreography is mesmerizing and, dare I say, Lopez’s true strength. When she’s not regaling us with her thoughts on love, we have the Council of Zodiac Signs, played by a stacked cast that includes Jane Fonda, Sofia Vergara, and Trevor Noah, to humor us with their genuinely funny observations. Lopez obviously has a vision, and it’s admirably big and earnest, but the technical side of the film fails her. Except for the ornate storybook opener, most of the dream sequences are gray and sludgy, and they rarely reflect Lopez’s rose-tinted view of life. I wish the film had more light, but instead, we get melty, inferior CGI work that is just painful to look at. Some people might be able to forgive this, but because film is largely a visual medium, I find that it ultimately detracts from the experience.

Genre: Drama, Music

Actor: Alexander Pelaez, Alix Angelis, Ashley Versher, Ben Affleck, Brandon Delsid, Carlito Olivero, Danielle Larracuente, Derek Hough, Fat Joe, Jane Fonda, Jay Shetty, Jenifer Lewis, Jennifer Lopez, Jocelyn Marie, Keke Palmer, Kim Petras, Matthew Law, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Paul Raci, Post Malone, Sadhguru, Sofia Vergara, Trevor Jackson, Trevor Noah

Director: Dave Meyers

Rating: PG-13

Hallmark is the last place you'd expect to find a low-budget movie that decries excessive automation and advocates for local businesses, but for some reason this is the setting against which Love & Jane's story is told. And the movie doesn't come across as insincere either, as it uses a familiar romcom template to actually encourage its protagonist to grow beyond the romance novels she loves and to engage with her own experiences and emotions. Unfortunately, the rest of the film feels oddly obligatory, including a bland love interest and his half-baked chemistry with the heroine, and the inclusion of Jane Austen herself, who really has nothing to do here.

Genre: Comedy, Romance, TV Movie

Actor: Aadila Dosani, Alison Sweeney, Benjamin Ayres, Corina Bizim, Debbie Podowski, Eduardo Britto, John Prowse, Kehli O'Byrne, Kendra Anderson, Lynn Whyte, Matthew Kevin Anderson, Nevin Burkholder, Vivin Oommen, William Vaughan

Director: David Weaver

Rating: G

There have been plenty of excellent films that tackle plenty of themes all at once, but Saindhav feels like a bunch of unrelated ideas strung together as an excuse for cool action set pieces. We’re first presented with the idea that violent video games are being used to recruit children for terrorist groups, but in response to this is a pretty violent protagonist that does over-the-top killings complete with explosions. His justification is that he’s doing it for money for his sick daughter, whose treatment is exorbitantly expensive. Both of these ideas should be discussed, and the cast tries to make the best of it, but Saindhav just combines these ideas to justify the glorified violence they’re supposedly critiquing.

Genre: Action, Crime

Actor: Andrea Jeremiah, Arya, Baby Sara, Getup Srinu, Jayaprakash, Jisshu Sengupta, Mukesh Rishi, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Ramajogayya Sastry, Ravi Varma, Ruhani Sharma, Sailesh Kolanu, Shraddha Srinath, Venkatesh

Director: Sailesh Kolanu

Being based on the 1989 Patrick Swayze movie, we weren’t expecting much from the new Road House on Amazon Prime. Like the original, it has fun fight sequences, shot in a way that brings us to the bar itself, and it’s amusing to see actual MMA fighter Conor McGregor acting as an antagonist. However, this adaptation rewrites the main character to be a former UFC fighter, turning the story into something more akin to an outsider cowboy Western rather than a bouncer action drama. It’s not outright terrible, but it just feels uneven, and the cast performances can’t make up for the thinly written characters. It also just doesn’t feel like Road House.

Genre: Action, Thriller

Actor: Arturo Castro, B.K. Cannon, Beau Knapp, Billy Magnussen, Bruce Buffer, Candy Santana, Catfish Jean, Chad Guerrero, Conor McGregor, Craig Ng, Daniela Melchior, Darren Barnet, Dominique Columbus, Gbemisola Ikumelo, Hannah Love Lanier, J. D. Pardo, Jake Gyllenhaal, Jay Hieron, Jessica Williams, Joaquim de Almeida, Jonathan Kowalsky, Kevin Carroll, Lukas Gage, Post Malone, Ruairi Rhodes, Travis Van Winkle

Director: Doug Liman

Rating: R

Five Blind Dates is a squeaky clean, hopelessly boring film pretending to be a raunchy romcom. Despite Lia (Shuang Hu) going on five (or four, really) dates, she doesn’t find real chemistry with any one of them. There’s no heat, no passion, no inane fun to be had, or reckless experimentation. It’s clear that what she’s after isn’t really love but a partner who accepts her traditional whims, which I guess counts as a happy ending if this were airing on Hallmark or any other wholesome TV channel. But it isn’t, and instead of embracing its true form—that is, family drama—it instead postures as a modern and exciting romcom, even though it contains zero spice. To be fair, the film has its funny moments, and I do think the first date’s premise, while played for laughs, has the potential to spark an interesting discussion about our generation’s willingness to sacrifice intimacy for financial security. But the film doesn’t really go there, nor anywhere, and remains as stale and safe as can be.

Genre: Comedy, Romance

Actor: Desmond Chiam, Ilai Swindells, Jon Prasida, Rob Collins, Shuang Hu, Tzi Ma, Yoson An

Director: Shawn Seet

When a plot is centered around women learning about self-respect, it’s usually a cliche, but it can be a fun and harmless story that we can enjoy, if it has enough heart. Still Fabulous has this general plotline, with a raunchy twist in the form of a porn star guardian angel, but the way the film plays out just misses the mark. There are fun moments, but Maddalena doesn’t do the work to find the things about herself that she actually likes about herself, possibly because the film isn’t as interested in her as it is with Valentina Nappi. Instead, even when the message is to love and appreciate one’s body, they have a body double for the stunning Diana del Bufalo, and even when it’s pointed out to her how she depends on external validation, the film ends with a relationship to validate Maddalena. Pensati Sexy sabotages itself the same way Maddalena does.

Genre: Comedy

Actor: Alessandro Tiberi, Andrea Dianetti, Angela Finocchiaro, Camilla Filippi, Diana Del Bufalo, Esther Elisha, Fabrizio Colica, Jenny De Nucci, Niccolò Senni, Raoul Bova, Valentina Nappi

Director: Michela Andreozzi

The film takes us into the mind of a performative teenager trying to convince us, or an imaginary cameraman, of his coolness and wisdom. The second-person device may evoke teen comedy series from the 2000s (at best), but it is incredibly disorienting in this 100-minute movie. It is a slog of straightforward punchlines and tired cliches, which picks up a little too late in the final act where the central idea finally reveals itself: the harder you try to maintain control, the more easily it slips away. Similarly, the less brain power you use for this film, the better it gets.

Genre: Comedy, Romance

Actor: Charithra Chandran, Charles Camrose, Daisy Jelley, Dhanushka Anson, Guz Khan, Kunal Nayyar, Lucy Punch, Madeline Holliday, Maisie Peters, Nick Frost, Sebastian Croft, Tanner Buchanan, Tim Downie

Director: Alex Pillai

Ricky Stanicky has all the ingredients of a zany romp: an insane premise, a cast of well-oiled comedians, and most notably, a veteran of the game, Peter Farrelly (Dumb and Dumber, There’s Something About Mary), at the helm of it all. And yet Ricky Stanicky falls unbelievably flat. For starters, there is zero chemistry between the trio who we’re supposed to believe are lifelong friends. And despite his Rolodex of disguises, John Cena is a one-trick pony here who can’t carry this film on his own. The joke is that he’s big and scary but can act pretty soft, but it gets tiring eventually. If I were you, I’d save myself some time and watch this SNL skit where Emma Stone plays a serious actress hoping to make her big break in a porn video instead. It captures the essence of what Ricky Stanicky wants to be, but the difference is, it’s actually funny.

Genre: Comedy

Actor: Andrew Santino, Anja Savcic, Jermaine Fowler, John Cena, Lex Scott Davis, William H. Macy, Zac Efron

Director: Peter Farrelly

Rating: R